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Business license

edited December 2014 in The Toolbox
Today I got a letter from the City Clerk, helpfully providing forms to register for a license for my "home occupation". I can only guess that this is based on the fact that my city tax filing included a Schedule C, dutifully reporting my trivial income from sources other than my day job. The Clerk's office helpfully included a copy of the ordinance that empowers them to fuck with me, which is written so broadly that any commercial activity at all (even if you never have a customer or client on site, and don't produce a tangible product there) would qualify as a "home occupation". Licensing involves a nearly-$100 tax annual "application fee". I'd have to give them permission to "inspect" my place of business. Fortunately, because I don't actually "run a business" here in any meaningful sense (i.e. anything other than sitting in a chair poking at a computer), I'd be exempt from submitting a fucking floor plan and accounting for my waste disposal (mostly flushing and curbside pick-up, thanks). But it would require getting my landlord to sign a note giving me permission to use the internets commercially, from a room he owns.

Is this kind of bullshit normal, and I've just been getting away with my unlicensed writing and drawing and web-site-with-ads-having until now? If I admit to my crimes and start paying the city for the privilege of having my information filed and my home inspected, does this mean I'm going to have the state and federal governments knocking on my – sorry: my landlord's – door, demanding money and the right to inspect my living room for toxic waste and sweatshop labor?

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